The Editors Guild has today issued a statement condemning the violence unleashed upon journalists in West Bengal during 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The Editors Guild condemned the violence that was unleashed by ‘alleged’ TMC goons on journalists from various channels during the fifth phase of polling on May 6th. Interestingly, TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s name was absent from the statement.
The Editors Guild condemned the violence unleashed on journalists from NewsX, ABP Ananda and Zee News. The journalists were attacked “allegedly” by TMC goons.
The statement says that physical attacks against journalists are “always reprehensible” but particularly so during elections as they undermine fair media scrutiny of an election. The statement said that the Guild urges Election Commission of India (ECI) to initiate necessary action against those who indulged in violence against journalists and order the TMC led West Bengal government to ensure law and order in the state.
Interestingly, the statement makes no mention of Mamata Banerjee at all. Trinamool Congress (TMC) is led by Mamata Banerjee and the West Bengal government is led by TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It is intriguing that the Editors Guild, headed by The Print’s Shekhar Gupta would mention TMC and the West Bengal government but not mention the one person who is heading both the TMC party and the West Bengal government.
The conspicuous absence of any sort of condemnation for Mamata Banerjee from the Editors Guild statement comes as no surprise, however.
Shekhar Gupta, who is the head of Editors Guild and also of the leftist propaganda website The Print, had written an article recently hailing Mamata Banerjee for ‘fighting venom with venom and fire with fire”.
Essentially, Shekhar Gupta had justified the violence unleashed by Mamata Banerjee led TMC on its political opponents and even voters.
On April the 30th, OpIndia.com had published an article where we had questioned the ostensible silence observed by The Print, a media portal run by the Chief of Editor’s Guild himself, on the rampant violence that had gripped West Bengal during the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha Elections.
Finally, Shekhar Gupta spoke on the political developments of West Bengal on May 4th. He congratulated and showered adulation on Mamata Banerjee whose party is responsible for the most disgraceful events in the elections so far. He had this to say: “Fight fire with fire, venom with venom… Mamata in Bengal shows how the offence is the best defence to stop the Modi-Shah cavalry…”
The propagandist said of Mamata, “Not a word she says in response to the BJP is defensive, nothing is said to play the victim, and because you mocked her, she mocks you back like none else can, with the possible exception, lately, of Raj Thackeray.” One could almost laugh at the assertion that Mamata doesn’t play the victim. Lately, she came out in support of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and termed the CBI probe against him a ‘political vendetta’ by the BJP. She even sat on Dharna against the BJP over the CBI raids.
The entire article comes across as a paid advertisement to whitewash the crimes of a politician who is accused of great brutality. At another point, Gupta said, “Mamata also isn’t impressed by BJP’s shock-and-awe tactic. She is probably the toughest politician in India now, tougher than Mayawati. She is also a street-fighter, which Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Kamal Nath and Akhilesh Yadav aren’t. But, for further clarity, Arvind Kejriwal is. Steeled through survival in a state that was no better than a Left Front concentration camp for her, she also knows the art of turning adversity into opportunity. Or grabbing the opportunity when Narendra Modi says it’s become difficult for Bengalis to even hold Durga Pujas.”
It is no surprise that pliant journalist would shy away from naming Mamata Banerjee for the brutality heaped on journalists since just a few days ago, he had praised Mamata Banerjee for being a ‘street fighter’. This silence of Shekhar Gupta in the Editors Guild statement also shows how terribly the Guild fails to stand up for those who are wronged by the political party that the Lutyens ecosystem supports.